Michigan Cities Want More State Revenue Sharing

When you ask local leaders what they want from the state.... the answers are very clear...

"We need more assistance, more direction, more tools from state government, from the treasury and from the legislature," said Lansing's Mayor, Virg Bernero.

"If we want to attract talented individuals back into the state of Michigan we've got to have vibrant cities, and we need a real partnership from the state to make that investment," said David Lossing, the Mayor of the City of Lindon.

They're calling on the state to increase revenue to communities. Governor Snyder, speaking at the Michigan Municipal League Capital Conference, says communities should have sufficient state funding, and the state is doing its best on its own tight budget.

"We're still in a difficult budget environment in terms of all the requirements that I really want to focus on. Constitutional revenue sharing actually saw a fairly significant increase, beyond the rate of inflation, so I hope when you look at the two pieces together there's a reasonable increase."

State revenue sharing is composed of statutory and constitutional revenue sharing. But total revenue sharing has dropped about $6 billion since 2001. Michigan cities say this is a tough hit and that are already facing financial hardships.

"That's twelve years local communities have suffered with a broken partnership with the state of Michigan," said Mayor Lossing.

Governor Snyder has said that the state just does not have the money to increase revenue sharing, but some local leaders say the state is just putting cash in the wrong place.

"There's $500 million now in the state's rainy day fund that the legislature and the governor are putting away for a rainy day. I wish they would realize that in many Michigan communities it is raining today," said Nathan Triplett, the Mayor Pro Tem of East Lansing.

Municipal leaders plan to petition the legislature for an increase in state revenue sharing, but for now, communities will have to face rainy days with what they have.


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